The Impact of Rosenwald Schools on Black Achievement

81 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2009 Last revised: 23 Sep 2011

See all articles by Daniel Aaronson

Daniel Aaronson

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Bhashkar Mazumder

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Date Written: September 23, 2011

Abstract

The Black-White gap in schooling among Southern-born men narrowed sharply between the World Wars. From 1914 to 1931, nearly 5,000 schools were constructed as part of the Rosenwald Rural Schools Initiative. Using Census data and World War II records, we find that the Rosenwald program accounts for a sizable portion of the educational gains of rural Southern Blacks. We find significant effects on school attendance, literacy, years of schooling, cognitive test scores, and Northern migration. The gains are highest in the most disadvantaged counties, suggesting that schooling treatments have the largest impact among those with limited access to education.

Keywords: education, race, Rosenwald, wages, mobility

JEL Classification: I2, J1, N3

Suggested Citation

Aaronson, Daniel and Mazumder, Bhashkar, The Impact of Rosenwald Schools on Black Achievement (September 23, 2011). FRB of Chicago Working Paper No. 2009-26, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1521585 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1521585

Daniel Aaronson (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604-1413
United States

Bhashkar Mazumder

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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